Area teams (except White Cloud) hit the road Friday.
By Ken DeLaat
Newaygo at Big Rapids
Boys- The Lions came away with a huge overtime win when the two teams met in the first game after the break Swinehart battled for 28 points and Cantu hitting some key triples to help stave off the offensive onslaught of Martinson.
It was one of the high points of the season for the squad that has dropped three of their last four. The Lion team that had been held under 60 points just once all season has not reached that mark in the last three contests. The Cards were on a 5 game winning streak before being derailed by a Fremont team presently hitting on all cylinders. Newaygo will have to help Swinehart out by hitting from outside and making the press work.If they can do that and try to at least contain Martinson a bit it will help their cause.
Girls- Newaygo handled the Cardinals pretty well the first time around. The hosts don’t score a lot and the Lions can put up points. Last time out BR seemed to have no answer for Jaylee Long and Sophie Frisbie wreaked havoc from the defensive side.The Lions have three tough games ahead with Fremont Tri County and Grant and a win might help build some momentum.
Grant at Chippewa Hills
Girls- Forget the loss to Central Montcalm because everyone is losing to the Hornets. Since the first of the year the Tigers are 7-1 against teams not named Central Montcalm and that loss was an overtime thriller with a tough Packer squad. The Warriors have 2 wins this season against schools from the bottom tier of their respective conferences and are winless in the Gold.
Boys- The first time these teams met the Tigers dug a huge hole and battled back to squeak out a win.Fast forward and Grant is not a team anybody wants anything to do with right now. The Tigers season long tutelage under Coach Schuitema is paying off and when their sharpshooters are hot they are awfully tough to stop. They will more often than not yield the size advantage to opponents but it shouldn’t be a big factor if Seth Schuitema, Vanderwilt and the steaming hot Chase get open.
Fremont at Central Montcalm
Boys- The Packers are rolling. With ample opportunities to play deep into his bench Coach Zerfas has been able to develop a number of weapons and has the talent to counter nearly any situation. Karnemaat and Calvin Miller are an imposing front line and the addition of McDonald to an already talented mix has paid dividends.
The Hornets are grinders and have had success in conference play but they would have to keep the scoring down to have a good shot at this one.
Girls- Fremont has a really good team with Vandenberg, Miller, Jamieson et.al. able to go toe to toe with most any team they face.
The Hornets swarm over other squads and take the breath out of teams with a multitude of scorers, aggressive and effective defense and a deep and productive bench.
The Packers are a good team. Friday they face a great team.
On the road.
Tri County at Reed City
Girls- Last year the Vikings caught fire at the end and battled their way into the Regionals. This year under new coach Alyssa Alger they are making another second half push and come into this one with 5 in a row under their belt including last week when they became the only team not named Central Montcalm to best the Packers on their home court.
The Coyotes really struggle to put points up and the Vikings have scorers up and down their lineup.
Boys- The Vikings play a tough team who has watched their early title aspirations increasingly fad after 3 straight losses including 2 in- conference setbacks. The Coyotes are hungry and playing in front of a vocal home crowd for the first time in a month.Tough game for Coach McCorkle’s squad
Holton at White Cloud
Boys-You have to love the Red Devils. They began the season getting drilled by Sparta after the post football buzz was still humming through the school then lost 3 of the next 4.
Since then they have been a respectable 6-4 but you never quite know which team will show up. They were handled by Morley earlier this week having caught the Mohawks at home stinging from their first defeat but Herron Slowik and Pouch can all score and the Indians will likely need to tally more points than they have been of late. The Cloud has reached 60 just once this season and have been over 50 just twice in the past 6 games.
This one is at WC and while their previous matchup was a 30 point loss at Holton this one should be closer if the Indians can not let the Devils run away early this time.
Girls- Holton has yet to win a game and came closest against North Muskegon last week when they finished within 4 points.
This White Cloud team is not North Muskegon.
Hesperia at Lakeview
Girls-The Panthers and Wildcats should matchup pretty even. Lakeview won the last one in overtime.
Boys- Coach Bolles and his team played the ‘Cats tough first time around but ran out of gas and players. Here’s hoping they break the season long skid with a much coveted win.